Las Vegas Approves Underground Transit Tunnel with Elon Musk
In May 2019, the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) approved a contract for almost $50,000,000 with Elon Musk's The Boring Company (TBC) to construct an underground transportation system for those who attend trade shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
TBC has conducted extensive research on their public transportation systems, Loop and Hyperloop, at their test tunnel in Hawthorne, California. They also have other projects in the works in Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as an East Coast Loop between Washington D.C. and Baltimore.
Loop passengers travel in autonomous electric vehicles (AEV) at up to 155 miles per hour depending on the location. The Boring Company currently uses modified Teslas. In addition to adding alignment wheels to Tesla Model Xs, TBC sometimes adds an extended chassis so the vehicle can hold up to 16 passengers.
Plans for the LVCC Loop include two tunnels for vehicles and a pedestrian tunnel connecting three underground passenger stations. The Loop is part of a larger LVCC expansion, which includes a new exhibit hall across campus from currently existing North, Central, and South Halls. Currently, TBC is evaluating three design options including five different possible station locations. Regardless of the final choice, the Loop System will reduce a 15 minute walk between the new exhibit hall and the older part of the campus to a one minute ride, and accommodate more than 4,000 passengers.
The entire Loop project also includes other features, such as:
- Elevators and escalators for passengers to access each station
- Pedestrian entrances and exits with coverings
- Tunnel lighting and power
- Video surveillance
- Control Room
- Systems for cell phone service, WiFi, intercom, and more
Advantages of TBC's Loop System
In high traffic areas adding public transportation requires using flying vehicles or going below ground. TBC's Loop transportation systems take advantage of and improve upon the benefits of tunnel transportation systems associated with the NYC Subway and Washington D.C.'s Metro.
These advantages include:
- Quiet construction. Those on the surface cannot hear, see, or feel tunnel construction, drastically reducing noise pollution associated with surface construction.
- Unified communities. Construction does not divide communities with lanes and barriers like current above-ground rail systems.
- Comfort and convenience. Whether a smaller Loop like Las Vegas, or a larger project, tunnels have less constraints, allowing straighter pathways and higher speeds.
- Weatherproof. Loop operation and construction is unaffected by rain, snow, wind, and other weather conditions which cause delays on the surface.
Tunnel Expansion in Las Vegas
TBC has planned for future expansions to the LVCC Loop. These service extensions include a route to McCarran International Airport, several hotels along the Las Vegas Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, and Las Vegas Stadium. The ultimate goal is to connect the LVCC Loop and Las Vegas extensions to Los Angeles.
The LVCC Loop project and planned expansions will add more jobs to the Las Vegas construction industry, with TBC and subcontractors seeking those who have experience in tunnel construction projects. Nevada continues to lead the Southwest, with more than 97,000 construction jobs in January of 2019, according to Nevada's Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation.
With innovative projects like the LVCC Loop, Las Vegas continues to lead the state in the creation of construction jobs.
About Resource Erectors
At Resource Erectors, we match skilled engineers, operations managers, and tech professionals with North America's best companies. If you have experience in tunneling construction or looking to build a skilled team for your tunneling construction project, we invite you to contact us and learn how we can assist you.